Thanks to ongoing negotiations between city and United States Postal Service (USPS) stakeholders, the City of Coronado may acquire ZIP code 92119 as early as next month from the San Diego neighborhood of San Carlos for $4.1M.
Following the overwhelming success of the 92118 Day event last year, organizers Alisa Kerr, Rob Crenshaw and Steve Johnson were flooded with requests to replicate the event.
“92118 Day was originally intended as a once-in-a-lifetime event,” says Kerr, “but it generated such excitement and positive camaraderie within the community that we felt compelled to explore future opportunities. What began as curiosity about acquiring ZIP code 92119 for Coronado turned into a formal City of Coronado request and now it looks likely to happen.”
The term ZIP is an acronym for Zone Improvement Plan, so any endeavor falling within the purview of ‘zone improvement’ qualifies as a criterion to make a petition for a ZIP code change. Official representative Lirpa Sloof responds as follows:
“Most requests for ZIP Code changes come from individuals or businesses seeking to make their addresses seem more prestigious or attractive. Although it is atypical for an entire city to make an application, the request from Coronado has merit because it clearly positions how the zone in question can be improved if the change is approved.”
Although the Zone Improvement Plan was originally established by USPS in 1963 to streamline mail delivery, Sloof says this is less important in the era of email and internet traffic:
“Like any government organization, we strive to be responsive to current issues. We wouldn’t want to hinder efforts for fundraising or community goodwill by holding to bureaucratic policies established decades ago.”
The 92119 post code, currently assigned to San Carlos, is relatively easy to reassign to Coronado because of its geographic proximity. According to the USPS website, five-digit ZIP codes nationwide are determined as follows: The first digit designates a broad geographical area of the United States, ranging from zero for the Northeast to nine for the far West. This number is followed by two digits that more closely pinpointed population concentrations and those sectional centers accessible to common transportation networks. The final two digits designate small Post Offices or postal zones in larger zoned cities.
Because the last two digits of the ZIP Code are localized, it really comes down to the cities in question as to whether they both agree to the change.
“The financial implications are not insignificant,” says Coronado Mayor Richard Bailey, “the payout to San Carlos combined with the related administrative costs could total as much as $4.1M. The City of Coronado and the happiness of its residents is paramount, however. You can’t put a price on community.”
If the acquisition is approved, plans for an inaugural 92119 Day (hosted 9/21/19 to coincide with the date) will be fast-tracked.